Damaged EUTELSAT 5 West B to operate at 45% capacity | Satellite | News | Rapid TV News
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Just over two months since it revealed that the craft’s solar arrays had been damaged soon after launch, Eutelsat has announced that its EUTELSAT 5 West B satellite will now finally enter service but at less than half original capacity.

eutelsat 5westB 10Oct2019The craft was launched into orbit by International Launch Services using a Proton Breeze M rocket on 9 October, designed to replace EUTELSAT 5 West A, assuring service continuity for over 300 TV channels broadcast from the 5° West position. It also hosts the GEO-3 payload of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System (EGNOS) under a 15-year agreement signed in 2017 with the European GNSS Agency (GSA), and valued at €102 million.

But as of the morning of 24 October, Eutelsat reported issues with the craft said it was working to assess the potential impact on the performance of the satellite  

After its investigation into the malfunction, Eutelsat has confirmed the loss of the satellite’s South solar array which has meant an attendant power loss leading to the craft operating at just 45% of original capacity. The company added that with the exception of the South solar array, the satellite performance remains nominal and that the satellite is now expected to enter commercial service later in January and is expected to meet the designed life time.

In attempting to make good on losses, Eutelsat assured that a number of mitigation actions aimed at assuring service continuity will be implemented, following the end of life in stable orbit of predecessor craft EUTELSAT 5 West A, for the largest possible number of customers.

EUTELSAT 5 West B is fully insured against the eventuality of a partial or total loss by a launch-plus-one-year insurance for up to €173 million. However, the company conceded that the partial non-availability of EUTELSAT 5 West B will reduce financial year 2019-20 revenues in the range of €5–10 million. The one-off cost of mitigation, mostly related to the repointing of ground antennae could be anything up to €10 million.

Eutelsat’s revenue objective for the 2019-20 financial year has now been mechanically revised to €1.270–1.315 billion for the company’s operating verticals in its reporting lines. Eutelsat noted that all other financial objectives were unchanged.